With Knuble expected out, Chimera ready to step in

With Knuble expected out, Chimera ready to step in
April 20, 2011, 5:22 pm
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Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 1:21 p.m.

By Ryan OHalloran
Staff WriterCSNwashington.com


NEW YORK Although his equipment was hanging in the Capitals dressing room this morning, winger Mike Knuble is expected to miss tonights Game 4 against the New York Rangers.

Coach Bruce Boudreau wouldnt say if Knuble would be in uniform, but a big sign of his absence was players talking about Jason Chimeras elevation to the top line.

Chimera would take Knubles place alongside Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin. Eric Fehr would likely make his series debut on the third line.

Chimera skated with Backstrom and Ovechkin for a stint in January.

Just playing my game and finishing my checks is the biggest thing I can bring to them, Chimera said. Speed-wise, I can get there and forecheck and hopefully that will help them out. If I play my game, I think I can help them out quite a bit.

Said Backstrom: Hes played with us before and hopefully it can be easy for us. Weve had a lot of different line combinations during the year so it shouldnt be a problem.

The Capitals are looking to take a commanding 3-1 series lead and put themselves in position to wrap up the series Saturday at Verizon Center.

Knuble was injured a moment before scoring in Sundays third period, and he has not practiced since. He and Ovechkin (morning off) were the only two Capitals not on the ice this morning.

Chimera was limited to less than 10 minutes of playing time in Game 3, mostly due to the Capitals seven short-handed situations.

I think Boudreau wants to take the physical kind of game to the Rangers, he said. Thats what I have to bring to that line. I cant obviously play like they play, so Ill do what I do and hopefully help them out.

Chimera said when he first played with Backstrom and Ovechkin, he tried to meet their skill level.

Sometimes, you get caught watching, not skating like you usually do; Ive done that many times before, Chimera said. I have to play the same kind of physical nature game.

If Knuble is out, the Capitals need to replace his power-play and penalty-kill minutes as well.

Fehr has been a healthy scratch so far in the series.

The first couple of shifts, Ill get a feel for things, give a hit, take a hit and get into the game as quickly as possible, he said. It looks like its been a lot of fun. Hopefully, Ill be a part of it.

Fehr enters a series that Boudreau said is almost like a game of chess. Whichever team makes a mistake and the other team capitalizes on it, thats the way the games have been going.

I dont think either team has to do anything differently if we capitalize on a Rangers mistake or they capitalize on us. That seems to be the way the games are decided. Hopefully, were not the one making mistakes.
Contact OHalloran at rohalloran@comcastsportsnet.com.